Hey Blog fans, Helen back again,
This time I wanna talk about something very stigmatized in today’s society. Using antidepressants to help you cope with depression. I know it is stigmatized because I have faced a backlash from previous partners about how they “screw you up” “they change who you are” It’s even gone as far as partners manipulating me because of my mood swings and making me feel worse because I have tried to sort my head out.
I understand that taking antidepressants is not for everyone they can have both positive and negative side effects. Although they alter my mood, a year and a bit later actually almost two years I still face side effects of my Zoloft, especially when I take it on an empty stomach. I’ll leave out the gross details but I do end up a little green. Nausea is the main issue I face when I take tablets on an empty stomach and let’s face it sitting in work nauseated all day is not fun at all. I am “normally” feeling great on the days I remember to take them on a full stomach. But I am not here today to discuss just the side effects, I want to share my story of antidepressants 2 years on.
Back in May 2016, I was working for a large retail company who for legal reasons I will only name as L as I do not wish to smear the company’s name online or in any public manner. I got to work for L through a government-funded program which again as the campaign was good in getting me the job and the skills i needed to work I cannot mention them. As soon as i got my job with L and the “training” phase was over, pressure seemed to mount up on me very rapidly and because of my disabilities I never felt as if I could truly manage the workload I was given, harassed by managers everyday, being told “you’re not fast enough” “that’s not good enough” “you need to do this more” “if you are having panic attacks find other work” all these comments everyday led up to me feeling WOW I am not supported here, I am faulty goods, I can’t keep doing this, I am worthless, Should I even be alive if this is how low my colleagues and managers think of me. Yes I know the last statement is a little OTT but that is really how I felt, I can remember sitting in my dad’s office one day after having a panic attack and just crying to him telling him I am sorry for being such a burden. (God even the memory of that day still brings tears to my eyes) It then got to the point where I was harming myself with Stanley blades, I can still see the faded scars on my legs today. 😦 It got to the point of me passing out on top of my parents landing for them to realise something is really wrong with me. So mum made me a doctors appointment and I had to fill in this questionnaire about how I was feeling and to be honest I was in a really dark place. Daily thoughts of ending my life because of people who didn’t actually care a dime about me.
2 years on I had to up my dosage of Zoloft because I had a breakdown because I was the victim of abuse whilst I worked for L but not from them, I had a previous partner who thought no meant yes and with my autism, my processing of the event shut down and tried to let me move on with my life, but never actually addressing the elephant sitting on my chest was like lighting a fuse and waiting for the dam to break. Before I was given Zoloft I was given Cipramil at a 20mg dose a day and whilst on Cipramil I got much worse, I was nauseous, constantly tired, yet, I couldn’t sleep and dizzy. It took a while for the doctors to change me onto Zoloft I was started on a 50mg dose but was still feeling pretty rubbish about myself, So a few months later I was put up to 100mg a day which worked for a while until the dynamite finally caught up with me and BOOM down came all my walls i had built and I was right back at square one and it came on quick I can remember sitting in work, during a call to a mother who had experienced domestic abuse at the hands of her partner and although I remained calm and professional throughout that call, in my minds eye I was flashing back to my attack. Once that call was over I tried to clear my mind and focus on the next calls flooding in but the charge had already been detonated, and during the call, I just broke I had to finish that call as best i could whilst choking on my tears and get myself off the call floor. I basically ran into the bathroom and let my eating disorder which i use to control aspects of my life take over and I was violently sick, stumbling back to my feet I thought I will be okay but I wasn’t all I could think about was suicide and ways i could end it which I am getting flashbacks of as I am writing this. I saw a co-worker who was going to get a manager for me but at this point i was beyond tough love I needed help and I knew I did, part of me which was still sane didn’t want to die, I was in a new relationship, we had just bought a house together, we were planning our future, I couldn’t leave him not now! So I mustered all the conscious thought i had in me and managed to speak the words first aid, because I knew I was in some serious trouble if i let myself slip again. I must have had some angels watching out for me that day because getting the words first aid out saved my life, My first aider got me an emergency doctors appointment and made sure that my OH got the rest of the day off as I wasn’t allowed to be alone, the doctor saw me within minutes of me getting out of work and immediately signed me off work and upped my medication as they could see in my eyes that I was on too low a dose, thankfully now nearly 6 months on from the date of breakdown I am on the mend. Yes I have my bad days but I try to take care of myself these days, and not let myself dwell on issues which make me feel out of control. Yes, there are days when my hectic schedule precedes my daily MUST do’s. So I have come up with a way for myself to remember to take my meds. Plaster Reminders
To make these you need 5 things
Firstly get a Sun-Sat Pill Box, you can buy them anywhere I got mine at my local pharmacy. Then when you get your prescription, Put your tablets in. I usually get my box of tablets on a Saturday and fill the box Saturday night.
Now with your plaster take it out of its “clean” wrapper and write the time you need to take your tablets on it with your marker. I take mine usually at my first break at work. So between 10-11:30 depending on the time of the break, I usually write down the days break time and stick it to my arm the night before I go to bed. Then I pack in a little hard sweet into the case as well so I have something to look forward to after I take my meds and voila a way I never forget to take my tablets again.